Whisky Advent 2018

Edmonton (Alberta) has an enthusiastic whisky scene that seems to have really grown in profile over the past few years (hat tip to the folks at the Edmonton Scotch Club for playing a big part in that). It’s given many people (myself included) the opportunity to connect with other whisky enthusiasts and share our passion for the aqua vitae. Looking back over the year, I’ve sampled a lot of whisky at tastings and other events and I can’t believe it’s already time to crack open the 5th Edition of Secret Spirits’ Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. As always, Jonathan Bray publishes his tasting notes over at singlemalting.com so please head over there to see what he has to say about each one. Also, you can check out Instagram and Twitter for…
Read More

Scotch Tasting on November 24, 2018

What a solid tasting on Saturday night! There were 10 of us who sat down and explored: Aberfeldy 16Bunnahabhain 12Wemyss Treacle ChestSpringbank 15Distiller’s Art Fettercairn 14The Sovereign Invergordon 27 The Springbank 15 was the group favourite as a first or second choice. The nose started with peat and maple or brown sugar. Dark fruits on the palate with walnuts. Oaky in the finish surrounded by peat and a hint of floral. The middle of the pack was the Bunnahabhain, Treacle Chest, and Fettercairn. The Bunnahabhain 12 smelled of a sweet and salty caramel, its palate had a seaside sweetness with dried fruit, and it finished slow by coating your tongue. The Treacle Chest smelled of plums and sweetness. Cinnamon, raisins, and nuttiness on the palate into a long, sweet sherry…
Read More

Old Pulteney Scotch Tasting – 12yo vs Navigator

Old Pulteney 12yo Region: Highlands Age: 12 years ABV: 40% Nose: Bananas, salty air, lemon wafersPalate: Heavier than expected on the tongue, coats it with honey and spices, not that salty early on.Finish: Spices come later into the medium-length finish and I’m left with a brine - almost medicinal - in the back of my throat.Overall: The nose sets the stage but the taste doesn’t really deliver for me. The honey is nice but I’m left looking for more to follow from the nose. Old Pulteney Navigator Region: Highlands Age: NAS ABV: 46%Nose: Clean, crisp sweetness with iodine notes. A wee bit of vanilla with a woody apple in there.Palate: Woody notes with the sweetness of honey. A little tingly as it sits nicely on my tongue.Finish: Spice as the…
Read More

The Arran Malt – Amarone Cask Finish

I tasted this two weeks ago at the Father’s Day scotch open house at Vines in Riverbend. It was one of my top two that I purchased because it was unique, damn delicious, and an incredible price. I opened my bottle this evening to revisit the whisky and I’m still blown away. Nose: Dark fruits and chocolate. Palate: Rich cherry, peppery spices, and heat. Finish: A slow, tongue-coating, spicy and dare I say “dry” finish. Overall: At 50% ABV, this is incredibly smooth. With water it coats your tongue more, you lose a bit of the heat, you pick up a bit of oakiness, and the finish lingers. Holy balls, I better be careful.
Read More

The Ridiculous Ardbeg Tasting

The Edmonton Scotch Club held an Ardbeg scotch tasting on Saturday, February 3. It was the first time I'd been to an official club event. The last tasting I went to with some of the club members was the Millstone tasting at the Keg 'n' Cork (which was great by the way). For this tasting, we started with the first four whiskies, took a brief intermission, and finished the last four. It was an incredible night and my hat's off to Travis and the rest of the club for putting on a hell of an event. Notes and a few pics from the night are below. Kildalton Age: NAS ABV: 43% Nose: Light and sweet, I get caramel and vanilla. Palate: Soft on your tongue, there's a subtle smoke amidst…
Read More

Whisky Advent 2017

I've been waiting for months (11 to be precise) to dive into Secret Spirits' fourth edition of the Whisky Advent Calendar. This year is bound to be exciting as I'm off to explore 25 different expressions of whisky including those from 10 independent bottlers. Jonathan Bray publishes his tasting notes over at singlemalting.com so please head over there to see what he has to say about each one. Onto the whisky! (more…)
Read More

Scotch Advent 2016

It's Scotch Advent time again! Oh my am I excited and this year Dana is joining me in some or all of the tastings (turns out she's discovered a taste for scotch, especially the peaty ones). Back to the box (mine is #606 for those who are curious), this year's edition comes with a NEAT glass which really lets you nose around. Over the next 25 days, I'm headed on a whisky tour courtesy of Secret Spirits' 3rd edition of their scotch advent calendar. Jonathan Bray's whisky tasting notes are over at Single Malting and, as you read mine, be sure to check out his discovery and insights. Onto the whisky!   #01 - Speyside 18yo Distillery: Bottled by Secret Spirits Cask Type: Refill Bourbon Cask #: 3299 Region: Speyside/Rothes…
Read More